Passions can be brought to life anywhere. There is no need to be in a particular clime or place to be able to bring your dream to fruition. Nigeria, with its ills, is full of opportunities that can be tapped into like Femi Oyedipe did.
Femi Oyedipe is the CEO of Loshes Chocolate which uses locally sourced materials in its production process. Established in 2015, LoshesChocolate produces chocolates from cocoa beans sourced from various locations in Nigeria. The company boasts of its premium quality and handcrafted chocolates.
Femi’s interest and eventual foray into chocolate production started as she was rounding up her masters programme in Scotland. At the end of the programme, she moved to Ghana where she worked part-time and started making chocolate cakes and confectionaries; a hobby that morphed into what is now Loshes Chocolate.
In 2014, she moved back to Nigeria and got a job as a human resource officer. After two years at the firm, she found that her desire to be a corporate diva was not what she really wanted. So, she became an entrepreneur.
“That decision was easy because I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, So I researched on how to create value alongside making chocolates. I started the business from my guest room at home,” she said.
The suggestion to go into chocolate making was made by her husband.
“I realised that we didn’t have home-grown chocolate makers in Nigeria like they do in Ghana. Most of our cocoa is exported and then we import chocolates. So I began to explore that with the help of my husband,” she added
Now she makes chocolates from cocoa beans she gets locally from states like Oyo and Ondo.Femi is a biochemist and her husband an engineer, factors that have helped them tremendously, especially in the area of fabricating most of the machines they can not afford, with the help of an artisan while she concentrates on understanding the science of the cocoa beans.
Femi said in an interview with Techpoint ‘We plan to create more things using chocolates. Our goal is to showcase Nigeria as a chocolate country. She also adviced the young entrepreneurs Also get mentors. They don’t have to be chocolate makers, they could be people already running thriving manufacturing businesses because we are all facing similar challenges. Follow rules set down by government regulatory bodies, and get the necessary documentation. Most importantly be sure of what they want, to understand the business , be focused, passionate and always find new ways improve your process. She also told them to read books and recommended Small Business Big Money by Akin Alabi for every aspiring Nigerian entrepreneur.